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Full text of "The Gleaner"

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^> 



Digitized by the Internet Archive 

in 2010 with funding from 

Lyrasis IVIembers and Sloan Foundation 



http://www.archive.org/details/gleaner98stud 



1997-1998 



established 1901 
Delaware Valley Collese 
Doylestown, Pennsylvania 



Co- Editors 

Stephanie Ruth Scarboroush 
Rebecca J. Walter 



Publication Advisor 

Dr. Linda Kandel Kuehl 



1997-1998 Gleaner Staff 

Robin M. Goldblum 

Blake Heffler 

Sloane Heffler 

Brian Kelly 

Alana Lavell 

Elizabeth Ann Leiter 

Rachel Stick 
Marie S. Zmijewski 



Cover Art 

"The Burning Bush" 
Dr. John Mishler 



Special thanks to the following: 

Dr. Linda Maisel for coordinating The Gleaner hiigh School Writing Competition 

Mrs. Edna Manlove for her technical assistance 

Mr. Barry Denlinger and PTGraphics, Inc., for their time and generosity 



A Traveler by Twilight 

Such nights as these! Such nights as these! 

Gazing into remnants of some Autumn storm, 

Born of Atlantic calm, 

Lightning embraces the whipping course. 

Of jagged-drawn winds, intensity equal to pride borne. 

Slandered remembrance of a fiery kiss. 

Passion raging, all consuming. 

Resolution strengthens the quailing heart. 

While sheltering blackness and watery curtain 

Hide the flowing tears shed. 

I, alone, standing, a sentinel. 

Guarding the secrets regarding hiell; 

Lucifer contriving to banish hope. 

With misery wrought of tumult, ebbing the tide of human 

spirits 

On such a night as this! 

Such nights as these! Such nights as these! 

The stillness overwhelming, listening. 

As one feathery messenger of hieaven falls to join 

Its companions on the quilted ground, 

Streetlamp glare is hushed. 

Harsh lines softened by inches of white. 

The wind a whisper, seeking to cover. 

Line of footsteps, unbroken but scattered. 

As if host were unsure whither to next travel. 

Frolicking, jumping, and falling, while shadows 

Drown in royal 

Etch the smooth, velvety cover of snow. 

And I alone, in respite. 

Some madness, some unknown joy, 

Hath crept into the creator of that line. 

Leading straight to the bearer of my lifting heart, 

While frosty beauty spills everywhere 

On such a night as this! 



Such nishts as these! Such nights as these! 

Late unto morning, stars have winked out, 

Icy cold dew under bare feet mocks the warming ground. 

Shimmering in moonlight. 

I seem to have lost something here 

In chilly April air, 

Across the field a newborn filly nuzzles its dam, 

Stirring the memory of lost life, a child I never knew, 

Taken before its time, 

Her spirit etched forever in my soul. 

As gold-green leaves lay waiting to burst forth soon, but 

not. 

On such a night as this! 

Such nights as these! Such nights as these! 

Storm has ended, mist is rising, 

Rain still falling, this night is alive! 

As haunted loons cry, and crickets sing. 

The fireflies dance, half-hidden in Lake's gauzy shroud. 

The ground, its dwellers and its sorry cleansed, 

Sends forth a living scent. 

I stand alone, left yet once more. 

Miles away they celebrate something, a shallow feeling, 

I will never be part of, but fear not. 

Some portion of my soul still walks 

Completely in this world, wondering. 

If it is but a fading wraith. 

Awaiting instruction for joining the truly living 

To its counterpart of divided earth, water, sky. 

And, but a traveler, I, 

On Such a night as this! 

To NightHawk., for teaching me to believe again. 

Rachael Shenyo 




Marian McGurk 



To my roommate ^ 

in the event of a Fire Drill 



When I die 
let me go 
french fried 
like a potato 
in my bed 
one night late 

on an otherwise uneventful date 
spontaneous combustion- 
Whoosh 

my gorgeous thighs 
McDonald's golden fries 



Ann M. Algeo 



Yesterday, Two Years Ago 

Yes, my father died yesterday 
'Twas just two years ago 
Why can't he be here with me now 
hie's in heaven, I know 

Why, Why 
Did he lay down to die? 

h^ow, rlow 
Can I let him leave me? 
Please can you help me find a way 
I'm hurting, can't you see. 

Yes, my dad left me and my mom 
It has been just two years 
I barely remember some things 
I just see through my tears 

When, When 
Can I see you again? 

With wings 
Like angels will you fly? 
For my mom, I have to stay calm 
Just, please, don't say good-bye. 

EAL 







Anonymous 



Min Skat (My Love) 

Within the embrace 
Of his strong arms, 
My heart starts to race 
As we discover my charms. 

With his gentle hands 

And his loving kisses 

He frees me from the monster's bands 

To let me pursue my v/ishes. 

With kind v^ords and support 
He helps me rebuild me 
Like the storm-ruined port 
After the destructive tsunami. 

Rebecca J. Walter 



I Never Made it to 
Never-Never Land 

The dancing flame illuminated the eager, hungry 
faces as it pirouetted upward from the shiny Bic lighter like 
a soul shooting from the depths of hell towards the grassy 
Elysian fields. It bent around the tarnished, metallic rim with 
an evil leer that foreshadowed its unholy purpose. As a key 
unlocks a door, the flame washed the sweet, dry leaves and 
released a magic carpet of smoke that would carry its 
passengers to Never-Never Land. This smoke that 
meandered through the hallowed gates of my body and 
found its resting place within the palette or my soul. 



My journey began that evening, a journey that 
would follow a rainbow of dreams and take me to victual in 
Heorot with God himself .... or so I thought. 

That night was many moons ago in the past. Burned 
into my memory are the vivid details like the scrawling on 
an old tenement wall. With a grand twelve years of life 
experience behind me, I stood tall and took on the world, 
or at least the weight of it on my shoulders. It was a sultry 
August evening in Austin, Texas, and a pack of my dearest 
friends and I were living the personification of boredom. I 
had done it all, or at least that is what I thought as I 
sprawled across the old and beaten couch in Mike's 
basement. Mike was a tall, lanky fellow with thin wisps of 
hair crawling out from underneath his backwards baseball 
cap, covering those beady and penetrating eyes. Those 
eyes penetrated like a dagger into my mind when he voiced 
a simple four word question. His roughly cracking voice 
broke the silence . . . "You wanna get high?" 

At twelve years old, I had learned all about drugs 
in school, but never really paused to give them much 



thought. In the five seconds that it took my to summon the 
courage to reply, my solitary thought was, "Why Not?" 
The answer to that fateful response came many cold winters 
later when I had lost my teetering grip on reality and was 
no longer envisioning a light at the end of a tunnel, but 
instead was concentrating on the freight train of joy riding 
straight to hell, wondering if I should jump . . . My answer 
to those eyes was a simple, "What the hell, I ain't got 
nothing better to do." That brilliant display of logic 
eventually crowned me the leader of the pack, and 
lemmings everywhere leaped onto that smoky magic carpet, 
ending their own person sojourns in reality and beginning a 
pilgrimage to the hallowed shores of Never-Never Land. 

The pilot of that flight was always a simple Bic 
lighter igniting some dry, crumpled leaves, freeing a 
bittersweet, phantasmal guide that would lead the lost boys 
and girls down the crooked staircase to the depths of 
pandemonium. Looking down during this ride, I have 
watched my traveling companions lose sight of the light of 
the morning. I buried some of them, send letters to those 
whose minds have deserted them, and send flowers 
whenever one lands in a hospital after they discover they 
cannot afford Charon's toll. 

My own world was spinning out of control at one 
point and I desperately wanted to stop the ride, but no 
one would show me the brakes ... so .... I jumped. 

After the crash, I began to use my mind to think, to 
reason, and to explore this wonderful blue orb spinning 
through space, instead of seeing it as a landing pad for 
sprites and fairies that I was following through the sky . . . 
towards the second star to the right ... the path that I 
followed until the reality of morning woke me up. 

Joshua Sanders 



11 



The Predator 

In the simmering heat sat a lonely old man. 

Cooling himself with breezes from a rusty fan. 

hie could feel the hostile, stalking predator 

Lurking closer to him more and more and more. 

It spied on him with fierce red eyes, 
1 2 Uttering no sounds, growls or cries. 

With muscles tense, the creature struck. 
Giving the man no time to duck. 

A slow sigh escaped from his lips. 

Into his chest the gray head dips. 

A peaceful expression covers his face, 

As Death prepares for a fearful new chase. 

Robin Goldblum 



Perspective 



JLake a look around you. What do you see? 
Do you see a forest? Can you even see a tree? 
Take a look around you. What do you see? 
Do you see a crowd of people? Can you even see ME... see me? 



I 



f beauty's in the eye of the beholder, then open up your MIND instead! 
We don't need to choke a river to build a house, or make a loaf of bread, 
hiard choices aren't convenient... but neither is being dead. 

(P 

\-Van you see over your money? Can you see past your time? 

Can you look beyond your backyard and see where it joins up with mine? 

Take a look at the ground,- what do you see? 

Another waste disposal systems, or your own DESTINY... destiny? 



I 



beauty's is the eye of the beholder, then open up your MIND instead! 
We don't need to choke a river to build a house, or make a loaf of bread, 
hiard choices aren't convenient... but neither is being dead. 



JL here's been enough fingers pointin',- enough words thrown around. 
There's already enough red tape to ChHOKE us, but show me one piece of healthy 
ground! 

Take a look around you. What do you see? 
Do you see a bunch of problems, or an OPPORTUNITY... opportunity? 



I 



f beauty's in the eye of the beholder, then open up your MIND instead! 
We don't need to choke a river to build a house, or make a loaf of bread. 
hIard choices aren't convenient... enough said. 



15 



David Aho 



How Could You Do This? 

How could you do this? My back against the headboard. 
Arms wrapped around my knees pulling them to my chest. I watch 
you pace. Your sneakers make no noise on the hardwood floor. 
You walk to the left, then to the right/ your dry eyes never leaving 
mine. You hold your shoulders upright, like a proud conductor in 
front of this orchestra. When you stop pacing, your whole body 
faces mine, opening and closing your fist, you say. Just tell me 
why! 

Your appearance is strangely calm like you are in control,- 
yet your lips quiver and voice wavers,- little bits of spit fly out as 
you speak. Clenching your fists and pacing, you stare at me just 
waiting to lose control. My eyes nervously scan the room and find 
there is not escape because you pace in front of the door. I 
contemplate the window and find the gun with its long barrel, 
leaning against the wall, in the corner. I remember you showing me 
how to use it for protection once. If anyone comes in here, you 
just shoot 'em with this. It'll probably knock you on your ass, 
but it'll knock them into the neighbor's house. The muscles in my 
face droop in fear and I feel a burning rising up from my insides, 
stopping at the back of my throat, tasting like burnt liquid. I 
remember the story you told me of your drunken stepfather holding 
a similar gun to your face when you demanded he stop hitting your 
mother. Unafraid of death at that miserable moment in your 
childhood you dared him to pull the trigger. And now, as you 
proceed with your interrogation, back and forth, back and forth, 
asking the same questions over and over, I am scared of you. 

You sit next to me, reaching out to me with both hands, 
not for comfort, but a gesture of despair. Your clear blue eyes are 
so close to mine, but they are unfamiliar. They usually water when 
you are touched by my action^ when 1 put on my baby voice, bury 
my head in your chest and tell you that I love you. Now these 
strange eyes contain a pain that runs deeper than love. Tears well 
up and, without blinking, flow out the side like a watering hose. 
The tears flow down to deep impressions in the sides of your 
mouth like an empty river being filled once again. Just tell me what 
I did wrong? You wait for me to answer. Your eyes stare hard with 



eyebrows slightly raised and lips parted, exposing your bottom row 
of teeth. Your face tells me strangely you hope I will say it was all 
your fault; that you neglected me and I had no choice. You would 
argue, but in the end you would say how sorry you were and how 
you didn't know, and if it meant coming to this, you would have 
changed. But you still can change, and you will, and please 
understand you didn't mean to make me do it. That there's still 
hope for us and how much you love me and that we will get 
through it. You wait patiently and anxiously for me to say all this 
and more because you know it will be easier for you to take the 
blame. It always was. You expect me to bawl and tell you how 
rough it's been all of these years being with you, and what else 
could I do? The seconds linger and the quiet in the room is 
immense. And you wait for my reply. 




Marian McGurk 



Help, No Help Needed 

Without any effort on my part, 
I became. 

Without any choice on my part, 
I became a male. 

With some struggle 

I became a man. 

With some privilege 

I became a husband 

With great pleasure 

I became a father 

With some perseverance 
' ° I earned a living. 

With some conflicts 

I became a Dad 

With some regrets 

I'm turning gray. 

With great remorse and helplessness 
One day 
I'll lay it all away. 

Dr. Richard Ziemer 



Please Touch Me 

I am your baby, 

Please touch me! 

Not just when you feed me and diaper me 

But stroke my legs, my arms, my back, my head. 

Hold me close in tenderness 

That says ~ I love you. 

I am your teenager. 

Please touch me! 

need to feel a fond love coming through your hands, your 

arms; 

I need to see it in your eyes. 

Hear it in your voice. 

Even when we disagree. 

Some of me is still a child ~ 

Please touch me! 

I am a child with a family of my own. 

Please put your arms around me 

Mother, Father, when my heart aches 

With heartaches you have known. 

Now that I am a parent, 

I see you differently and love you more. 

When you embrace your grandchildren, 

don't forget me! 

I am your aging parent. 

Please touch me 
The way my mother did 

When I was young. 

My hair is coarse and gray 

But please stroke it. 

My hand is withered but hold it. 

Embrace my tiring body. 

I need your strength ~ Please touch me! 

Anonymous Faculty Member 



19 



.ove 



If you only knew how much you mean to me, 

I sit and dream of the places you and I could be, 

On the sand we are side by side, 

Watching the waves as time goes by. 

In a forest near a stream. 

The sun shines through the trees with one single beam, 

20 Caressing us both as we stand there. 

Giving a silvery shine to the air. 

In a clearing by a lake. 

You turn to me, my hand you take. 

Will I be yours, you ask of me. 

For all time, as the endless sea. 

As we gaze into the star lit sky. 

Together forever will be you and I. 

Rachel Stick 





21 



Kelly 



22 



A Pale Blue Housecoat 

My mother died when I was a child, nearly forty 
years ago, and many memories of her have faded, but the 
following episode, seemingly so trivial, became vividly 
etched in my mind. It involved a peddler who visited our 
neighborhood in the Bronx in New York City. 

He would come to the door about once a month, a 
huge suitcase strapped to his back so that his arms nearly 
scraped the floor. As small as I was, I could peer into 
bloodshot eyes. My mother made him tea, served in a milk 
glass, while he removed the burden from his shoulders and 
attempted to stand erect. He couldn't. 

Waiting for the lid of his battered rectangular box to 
be lifted, I planted myself in front of it, expectant and 
curious, as if it were our little twelve-inch black and white 
television. After three lumps of sugar and a wedge of 
lemon were dropped in his glass, after he gulped twice and 
wiped his steamed glasses, the bearer of treasures opened 
his box and scattered the contents upon the vinyl kitchen 
chairs, formica table top, and my lap ~ a rainbow of 
garments, called housecoats by my mother. 

She always bought something from him. How could 
you not after studying the furrows framing his mouth, the 
sparse white hair, and rheumy eyes: Willy Loman in the 
flesh, but less affluent. On this particular morning, he 
singled out two housecoats from the heap and extolled their 



virtues. One was pale blue, with a navy bird stitched on 
the pocket/ the other was identical except for color; an 
aquamarine sporting a black bird. No budding Oscar de la 
Renta, I was dazzled by the beauty of both. 

"Which do you like?" my mother inquired. "You 
pick the one I should take." 

I was overwhelmed. She was allowing me to make 
such a momentous decision. I was proud. She trusted my 
judgment. I carefully wiped sticky hands on a corduroy 
jumper and fingered both garments. I held each up to her 
bosom. I dawdled and debated until the ancient peddler, 
muttering something under his breath, placed a greasy cap 
back on his shiny head. I was five and terrified of mistakes. 

"Which one do you like," I threw back at my 
mother, waiting to be rescued. No anchor was thrown. 

"You choose," she insisted. 

I pointed a stubby, nail-bitten finger, three crumpled 
dollars were exchanged, and I held the pale blue 
housecoat, staring into the navy bird's rhinestone eye. 

Why do I remember that sloppily stitched bird so 
vividly when I can barely remember what I wore yesterday? 

Linda K. Kuehl 



23 




24 



All of Me 

I wonder if it can ever be just right, 
Perfect, 

someone can ever love all of me, 
Not just my virtues. 

Can someone adore my faults, 

And quirks, 

And humanness. 

Solely because they are a part of me? 

Can he appreciate the unevenness 

Of my breasts, 

And think it makes them ever more tasty, 

Caressable 

For their distinct me-ness? 

Can he inhale the odor of my filth. 
And sweat, 

And knowing it as my perfume. 
Love its sourness? 

He must find it ever so endearing. 

And necessary!. 

That I wish so much for fairies to be 

real. 

And wonder everlasting. 

hie must not tolerate the absence 

Of even one of my incongruent dreams. 

But find them catching 

And become sick with giddiness. 

Enthusiasm, passion, and silly laughter 

In my company 

As I burst with this disease. 

hie must know when to assure me 
Of my beauty or creativity. 
Certain of my ability. 
But also keep me modest 





~«i^ 




"M 

p 



WJ' 



F*f 






£ 



And striving 

Gently criticizing and suggesting 

In an undemanding manner. 

He must love my failures 
And shortcomings, 
Not just despite them, 
But me with them. 

My dear, do you love all of me? 

Could you never do without 

The memory of my willingness, 

Eagerness 

To embrace your presence, 

Your wholeness, 

That sweet January in the desert. 

Because I knew, 

I hoped. 

The fit would be so perfect? 



My love, do you understand 
My need to be restless, 
An artist and scientist 
Seeking to envelop 
Everything 
All at once 
And a little time? 



25 



My sweet can you relish all of me 

Not excluding even one detail 

Or annoyance? 

Can you take the sweet with the 

sour. 

The bitter with the sweet? 

Can you revel my strange spice. 

Follow my recipe? 

I wonder if it can ever be just right. 

Perfect, 

If you can ever love all of me. 

Carrie Preston 



26 



Hunger for the Blade 

Oh the achins inner pain. 
No legal drug can relieve 
The agony of the insane. 
So up must slide the sleeve 
To satisfy what is forbade ~ 
The hunger for the blade. 

The struggle has begun. 
Must think, must not cut. 
Stop the flow or let it run? 
Can't think, should I cut? 
The choice that must be made ~ 
Feed the hunger for the blade? 

A pattern that runs deep ■— 
When hurt is great, hope is gone. 
Slice the skin and let it seep. 
Repeating pattern, rolling on. 
The choice is long since made ~ 
Feed the hunger for the blade. 

The flick of gleaming silver 
Lets flow a blood red river 
Of pain released, agony ceased. 
If too deep, the source deceased. 
The purchase price is paid —- 
Fed the hunger for the blade. 



Rebecca J. Waltc 



The Vampire*s Lesson 



Good evening, fair mortal! I do regret that this discussion could not occur during the day, but my £7 
"condition" prevents that. Don't treat me like an innocent child, even though I may appear to be one, 
for I am a hundred-year-old vampire. Louie, my companion, bestowed upon me his gift of darkness in 
time to save me from the plague that mercilessly killed all. It preserves my youth and beauty forever. 

hlowever, a vampire cannot remain unchanged vvithout blood. Unlike mortal drinking, blood 
needs to be savored, every drop adored. This red wine of life demands a certain respect. To waste any 
amount, no matter how small, is considered sacrilege among my kind. It warms our bodies, and calms the 
ferocious hunger that burns deep inside of us. 

First, the perfect victim must be chosen. A rich, vibrant, young individual tastes the sweetest and 
most fulfilling. Avoid people displaying signs of disease, old age, poverty, and uncleanliness, for they 
taste of depression and pain. Once the prey has been spotted, mesmerize them to accompany you to 
any isolated spot. If so desired, have them take you out for a good time first, perhaps to the theater. 
Usually, they will not need the money later in life. 

As you lead the prey away from the warm glow of other mortals, an important decision must be 
made. Does the victim deserve to be brought across and become one of the undead? Loneliness often 
factors into the existence of a vampire. However, like the offspring of any mortal, nobody can predict 
how the new vampire will treat the world. Many develop into ruthless killers that later need to be 
destroyed. 



Once alone, sink your elongated teeth into his exposed neck. The nectar of life will flow 
generously down your throat as you feed. The victim will soon become weak, and the heartbeat will 
begin to fade in your ears. Do not continue to drink once the heart has ceased beating. As death infects 
the mortal, it contaminates the blood. If the corrupted blood enters you, incredible pain unlike any you 
have experienced as a mortal will envelop your body. Death surrounds us always, but it must never be 
allowed to touch us. 

Finally, the empty shell of your latest victim must be laid to rest with great respect. We like to 
believe that the souls of those we feed upon always go to heaven for their great sacrifice, leaving behind 
the vacant body. A carefully hidden grave usually suffices, for the police can never seem to unravel the 
mystery of our existence, hiowever, I prefer cremation. The spreading of the ashes over a special place, 
like a park or ocean, seems more proper to me than a simple burial. 

As the first mortal I have revealed the secret of our feeding process to, I hope you understand 
that you cannot be allowed to leave. The exposure of this special knowledge to the public would be 
detrimental to both my race's secrecy and yourself. Insane asylums are never fun. Besides, I need a snack 
anyway. 

Robin Goldblum 



28 



A Son-in-Law Reflects 

Any mother-in-law joke embarrasses me when I reflect on Claire E. Yeakel, the most wonderful 
mother-in-law a man could have. As I got to know her, she shared with me some hilarious jokes of her 
own repertoire, most of them in the Pennsylvania German dialect. 

I first met her when she and Forrest (Pop) Yeakel came to college to visit Adelle in the 1 950's. 
She moved with grace and sported in a classy way those narrow, arched eyebrows which movie stars 
wore in the 1 920's and 1 930's and a welcoming smile. In 1 960, I was invited to Quakertown for 
Christmas and witnessed the busy Yeakel household at their bakery on Hellertown Avenue. No stranger 
to work, this farm boy from Oregon pitched in to help Pop Yeakel move carts and trays of baked goods 
from the store to the Q-Mart, to Leh's, and to various other destinations. I also gained ten pounds and 
met many friends of the Yeakels. 

Mom Yeakel was a special hostess to me, and four years later when I returned for another 
Christmas vacation. Pop said, "Richard is going to propose,- he's not coming eight hundred miles just to 
say 'Merry Christmas'." Pop was right. The following July we were married in Quakertown and I 
became a romantic heart transplant to Pennsylvania. My identity as an outsider was established early by 
saying, "I'm Adelle's husband",- and in reality I was Claire and Forry Yeakel's son-in-law. 

I was around Adelle's mom for over thirty years ~ longer than I was around my own mother (yet 
living, in Oregon). Adelle reminded me that biblically I had to forsake my father and mother,- wives 
were not required to do this. Mom's smile of kindness was shed on me just as it was on many other 
people in Quakertown when she decorated their cakes or put confectionery snapdragons on the backs of 
children's little hands. 

Several years ago Adelle, our daughter, my mother-in-law and I were delayed on a flight 
returning from Florida. The stewardess played a game with passengers, rewarding us with bottles of wine 
for coming up with correct answers,- one question was, "hlow many of you married people have pictures 
of your mothers-in-law in your wallets or purses?" I was embarrassed as Mom looked at me and said, 
"Richard! don't you have a picture of me?" Soon I inherited one of her wearing a pink suit and 
portraying that warm smile. 

When she made her last will, she asked what I would like to have to remember her by, and I 
replied, "Your Buick or your next Buick." FHer influence on others in this community convinces me how 
fortunate I was to marry into such a wealth of relationships. 1 997 has brought sorrow to many other 
people too ~ some of them in far more tragic ways than I suffer. But I have since learned how 
emotionally empty others also feel as a result of Mom Yeakel's death. She died sometime during the 
longest night of the year ~ two days before Christmas. I could not even guess how bright hieaven must 
have seemed to her in contrast to the darkness of that night and her pain. The outpouring of condolences 
of friends and neighbors in this community since then overwhelms me. I could write a book about 
experiences with Mom, but consider this a preface. As the pangs of grief eventually subside, look for a 
smile on my face driving Mom's Buick. 

Dr. Richard C. Ziemer 



29 



On Even Keel 



o 

LORD OUR 

G 

O 

D 

NOW DO 

WE IN THIS 

WIDE OCEAN OF 

A WORLD LOOK FOR THAT STABLE 

OUALITY WHICH WILL GIVE US 

^° SOMETHING TO BELIEVE AND 

SOMEONE TO BEUEVE IN. 

BE A RUDDER TO OUR 

SHIP OF LIFE 

AND KEEP 

US ON AN 

EVEN 

K 

E 

E 

L 

Dr. Richard Ziemer 



Alone 

I WRITE FROM THE HEART 

- FROM THE SOUL 

- OUT OF HATRED 

NOT IN THE DARK 
OR FROM MYSELF 
I JUST FEEL ALONE 

ALONE - ALONE - ALONE 
JUST LEAVE ME ALONE 

"PLEASE COME BACK" "LATER" 

WHEN I'M ALL ALONE 



ALONE 



Jeff Primus 



A Summer Romance 

8-9-97 

a blanket 

a moon 

ice-cream or cubes 

a kiss 

a whisper 

wet grass 

the crickets will pass 

good-bye 

ill see you soon 

Jeff Primus 



31 



Have A Nice Life 

DOES ANY BODY KNOW WHERE I AM 
WHO I AM 
DOES ANY BODY CARE 

"HELLO, NICE TO SEE YOU AGAIN" 

"HOW'S UFE" 
VANISH WITHOUT A TRACE 
WILL I SEE YOU AGAIN 
I GUESS SO 
EVERYTHING I SEE AND DO 

REMINDS ME OF YOU 
HAVE A NICE UFE 

Jeff Primus 



32 



Winter Hues 



Seamstress 

Delicate bird-tracks: 

Tiny gray stitches 

In the white snow-quilt 

That softly blankets the slumbering land. 



Composure 

At golden-rosy dawn, 

The blue-white snow 

A motionless sea 

Of silent beauty. 



Jeweltones 

Brilliant vermillion 

Against dazzling white 

And emerald green: 

Cardinal on a snow-graced holly. 



Hush 

Amethyst shadows 

Rest coolly upon the fresh-fallen snow 

In the soothing hush 

Of nightfall. 



Karen Schramm 









l> . 









Linda K. Kueh 



As I lie here in my bath in the hot water, 
surrounded by the cold white walls. 

I think of you 

I think of how I wanted to kiss you in the kitchen yesterday 

When you looked down at me with all the want in the world 
showing in your eyes. 

But I couldn't because I have him and 
34 you have her 

But I need you the way she thinks she needs you. 

So I lie here crying for you 

Lying in the hot water, surrounded 

by the cold, white walls. 

EAL 



a little girl lost 

putting on makeup 

hairspray in the air 

trying to fit into a group 

her sweater is hole-y 

her jeans are frayed 

what will they think of me today? 

maybe they'll like me today. 



35 



to Kalifornia 



LYING THERE, WATCHING YOUR SWEET 

SLEEP-SOFTENED FACE 

I WORRY THAT I'LL WAKE UP 

AND YOU'LL BE NOTHING 

BUT THE BEST DREAM I'VE EVER HAD.... 

EAL 



Porphyria*s Tale 



"Dad," Kristy moaned, "This new house sucks! I don't care what you and mom say cause I hate 
it, just hate it! It's old, it's creepy, and the kids at school say it's haunted." 

"Enough Kristy," Dad ordered. 

"But Daddy," Kristy whined. 

"You heard me, Kristy,- I said that is enough of your nonsense. If you keep it up, you will be 
grounded." 

"Whatever!" Kristy knew she was right because she heard the story of Porphyria at school. And 
everyone understood, except for her parents, that in this old house is where it all happened. 

"Kristy? Kristy. . .your father and I are leaving now to go to dinner, . . .okay?" 

"hiave a good time," Kristy hollered. 

After her parents left, Kristy decided she was going to prove to them that the house was 
haunted. Carefully, Kristy walked from room to room trying to decide where she should start. Finally, she 
decided to search the den. As Kristy walked about in the den, she discovered a passage next to the 
fireplace. Carefully, she ducked her head down and entered the passage. 

"Wow," Kristy muttered, "It sure is creepy in here." 

"No it's not," a high-pitched voice replied. 

"Who, what, where are you?" a frightened Kristy asked. 
36 "I do not mean to scare you, but I have come to warn you," the high-pitched voice responded. 

"My name is Porphyria and I used to live here with my gentleman friend." 

"Oh my gosh! You are the story everyone at school talks about. They say you were killed here 
on Halloween by your boyfriend; he strangled you or something." 

"That's right. . .but he is still not satisfied." 

"hHuh," Kristy interrupted, "I don't get it." 

"You see, when he strangled me with my hair, he did not kill my spirit." 

"You're like a ghost?" 

"No, I am a spirit and I have come to warn your family about what will happen if they do not 
get out by tomorrow, hialloween. This passageway is where I stay until someone finds me. It is the only 
place that I can feel safe from his madness," Porphyria replied. 

"What will happen?" 

"He claims he will come back and search his house. If he finds people in his house, well, he will 
strangle them." 

"Okay, yeah, yeah right, whatever. . .Kristy, once again, you are letting your overactive 
imagination take over," Kristy reminded herself. 

"Please do not let this tragedy happen again. He will not give up,- he is very crazy. I cannot even 
begin to describe the crazed look he had in his eyes the night he strangled me." 

"Well, since you're the genius, what can I do to make my parents believe me. They never believe 
me; I'm just a kid, so what can I do?" 



"Just keep them away from the house tomorrow night, hie will go after anyone in the house." 

"That sounds easy but I bet it won't be. Porphyria, how come he never captured your soul? 
Porphyria? Porphyria? Porphyria?," Kristy called. From the passageway, Kristy could hear the large front 
door groan as it opened. Carefully, she ran from the narrow, brick passage before anyone would find her. 

"Hi, honey, we're home. Kristy, where are you?" her parents called. 

"Mom, Dad, guess who was here while you were gone. Do ya give up? It was Porphyria. . .you 
know, the lady who was killed in this house on hHalloween. And this house has an- awesome secret 
passage." 

"Young lady, before your mother and I left for dinner, I distinctly remember telling you to cut this 
nonsense out. Since you have deliberately disobeyed me, you will not, and I mean not, be allowed to 
go trick-or-treating with your friends." 

"Come on. Dad, lighten up. Besides, if I don't go trick-or-treating, you won't get to have all my 
Snickers," Kristy offered. 

"That's enough Kristy. Now go to your room." 

As Kristy sat alone in her room, she began to cry. She felt hopeless and had no idea what to do. 
If something happened to her parents, she would be lost forever. But her parents did not want to 
cooperate. As Kristy yawned, she realized she had a major problem and no one would believe her. 
Kristy rubbed her eyes, not realizing how tired she was. . . . 

"Kristy, Kristy, wake up sleepy head," Mom called. "Your dad and I have decided that you may 
go trick-or-treating, but Dad will go along with you." 

"Huh?" Kristy responded. Slowly, she glanced around her bedroom looking for something ^' 

familiar. "What a terrible dream," Kristy muttered. 

"Hurry up, Kristy. Let's get ready to go," Dad called. 

"Okay, Dad." Carefully, she put on her costume her mom made. This year she was Cinderella. 
The beautiful blue gown fit her perfectly. 

"I'm ready everyone," Kristy called. As she glided down the steps, a cold, creepy feeling kept 
brushing along her neck. 

"You look like a princess," Dad said, as he carefully placed the crown upon her head. 

"The costume is perfect," Mom announced. 

"Well, Daddy, let's go before everyone else gets out." She knew she sounded much happier 
than she felt and that feeling kept bothering her. 

As Kristy and her dad walked from house to house, that strange feeling continued to brush 
Kristy's neck. It felt as if it were trying to make her turn around. But she continued to ignore it. 

Halloween is an all day event in their tiny town. By the time the sun set, Kristy began to grow 
tired and just wanted to go home. Slowly, as they walked up the little stone path to their creepy house, 
an ear-piercing scream startled them. When Kristy looked up at the house, she remembered Porphyria's 
warning. As she approached the front door, she began to wonder if Porphyria's warning had come true. 

Marie S. Zmijewski 



38 




Tom Bilotta 



The Light and My Beautiful Lee 

Here we are again in the light of the great, blue moon 

Our forbidden love can no longer be denied. 

I tremble at your hesitant kiss, 

As your soft lips meet mine. 

For a moment I can forget the world. 

Your obligations and mine 

Fly away in the blue moonlight. 

You pull away and softly say "I love you." 39 

Though we both know we can never be each other's. 

Why does it have to be like this? 

My beautiful, dear, sweet Lee, 

Just hold me again, then kiss me. 

And for now I'll be content. 

Though we'll never show our forbidden love 

Except tonight in light of the great blue moon. 



EAL 




Marian McGurl 



Scenes from the Wild Blue 



Rainbows 

All this time, 

You've thousht 'twas the rain 

That made those colorful sky-ribbons ~ 

When it was really the pixies 

Building a sky bridge 

To reach the other side. 



The Flock 

The eager wind 

Shepherded the fleecy clouds 

Along the cool blue pasture 

Of the autumn sky. 



Pillow Fight 

The sky today is sapphire blue, 

And the clouds swirl like scattered white feathers, 

41 

As if God and FHis angels 
Have been engaging in a playful pillow fight. 



Descent 

Snowdrops sitting on a cottonpuff cloud, 

Gathering courage. 

It's time ... Now ~ JUMP! 

They leap into the frosty air 

And plummet, faster, ever fast, 

ni their parachutes burst out into fluffy white 

And delicately they descend 

To the waiting ground. 



F-16 

The sky an ice rink. 

Crystalline blue. 

Accepts delicate etchings 

Executed by perfect blades: 

The Falcon takes flight. 

Karen Schramm 



Out of the Ashes 

Love was a word ne'er you believed in, 

Before, and maybe not since. 

What happened 

Was deceptively simple, and yet 

Ten thousand words and a heartfelt estranged cry 

Filled with the silence of eternal cold void. 

Could not do justice to the feeling. 

Was it the candle's glow at the edge of the lake. 

Or forbidden nights in the sultry bed like a tomb? 

The two of you searching for something very few dare. 

And fewer find. 

Did you catch hold of the edge? 

Or maybe grab onto the stem of the Rose, 

And it was your heart that bled when your finger 

Was pricked by the thorn. 

Screaming through the night, each your love sought the other. 

Even across space, a link was made, boundless by separation, 

Severed, it tore a hole through her being, 

And possibly yours, but, oh, you weren't to blame. 

Just because your patience ran out. 

You couldn't stand the thought that she still 

Questioned and searched, always deeper and further beyond. 

Trying to calm a restless call 
As it twisted you. 
Like tortured iron in a furnace of rage,^ 
You broke the tie and fled.3 
Did you know she still can't fill the emptiness, 
the bleeding rift torn through her soul? 
None could hurt her more than one she loved so much. 
And as she looks into new love's eyes. 
Searching for an essence, a reminder of youj 
The tear that falls says all that needs saioT 
While the flame held aloft will never fade. 
She will be able to turn and walk towards the light of her shadow. 
The memories worn as a cloak both wounding and shielding her from what lies ahead. 

Rachael Shenyo 







43 




a 


m 


' 

i 





Dr. John Mishler 




vr-. 



^ 



44 





X 




7 




^»!»S!-l«!f- 



■.^- 




«r- 



-^ 



/ 



45 



r 



■V... 

Stephanie R. Scarborough 



A Mother *s Aging 

There is here/ 

then is now. 

Dreams are memories, decayed. 

Somehow 

time circles back 

end-to-beginning-to-end, 

as time shapes a womb ~ 

again. 

Jan Corbett 



46 




Marian McGurk 




ebecca Walter 



47 




EAL 




••«;M,.«AttMWw(B 









The English Department 

is very happy to have sponsored its first 

high school writing competition, 

which was designed to showcase the work 

of young writers in the area. 

We were amazed at the talent, sensitivity, and 

ear for language shown in their poetry and prose. 

Our thanks and congratulations go to them, their families, 

and, of course, their English teachers! 



49 



LM. 



9|S 9|$ 



50 






Devoured 

You took me as if I were food. 

You devoured me and tasted me. 

But once you hit my core, 

You took one last bite 

And broke my seeds. 

Those seeds were my soul. 

But you didn't care 

because my juice was so sweet 

and my appearance so ripe. 

I poured out with flavor 

and you swallowed me largely. 

Once you were done, 

you took one last look 

and enjoyed how you loved me. 

But I was over and done, 

and I had no use for you. 

Thrown away without a thought, 

as if I had only satisfied. 
You have scarred my poor soul 

And tasted my love. 

Because my juice was so sweet 

and my appearance so ripe. 

Blake Ann Miller 

Council Rock High School 

Mrs. Andrea Lamberth 

Grade 1 2 

First Place Poetry 



vjrammom s Iree 

Remember what it was like to be 

stuck in a time somewhere 

between death and immortality, 

between alpha and omega, 

between then and now. 

A time when the serenity of youth was frozen in place. 

When the zebra striped body of 

Grammom's birch tree extended 

its arms to the heavens in prayer. 

When the ladder of smooth bark 

stretched upwards: 

Black/ 

White/ 

Black/ 

White/ 51 

Black . . . 
When the thin branches atop that tree 
held you precariously with bony fingers 
and rocked you to silent beat of Nature's Song. 
When its leafy hair flowed around you- 

blossoming stubble in spring, 

emerald in summer, 

red-headed in autumn 

and naked in winter. 
Naked like your soul, chilled by the 
thin Appalachian winds. 
Naked in a time when all was pure. 

Amanda Ribarchik 

Bristol Jr./Sr. High School 

Mrs. Doherty 

Grade 1 1 

Second Place Poetry 



Imperfection 

I feel the word 

slip through my lips, 

getting caught on my tongue 

I feel a release in my soul, 

a release from the impossible. 

Standing with me, 

and against me. 

The dirt road 

with muddy puddles, 

which dare not dry in the sun, 

hiding under tall trees. 

i-Q Poured over with cement, 

the holes and puddles, covering the 

magic,- 

Killing my father. 

Due to imperfection, not inspite of. 

Seen too late 

by knowing eyes, 

and no return 

to what never was, 

but seemed to be - 

now exists inside of me, 

catching the word upon my tongue. 

Kristen Horn 

Neshaminy High School 

Mr. Blair 

Grade 1 1 

Third Place Poetry 



El Carnaval en la Guasua 
The Carnival on the Bus 



(set in Puerto Rico) 



One step up, the next. Once I was up those 
small, rubber matted steps, I looked around for a 
comfortable place to sit. I remember exactly where I sat: 
window seat, second row on the right. The windows 
were closed in the cool morning air. I sat there quietly on 
my way to the town of Lares to buy a few necessities. 

While I sat peacefully in my seat, more and 
more people filled the yellow bus. A little boy of eleven 
boarded the bus, his hair slicked back, dressed in his best 
shirt and jeans, hie was going on the bus to town alone. 
A group of teenage boys hustled on awaiting their arrival 

in town, anxious to whistle at all the pretty girls they 53 

chanced to see. An aged old man in his straw paba', skin 
burnt by years of hard work under the tropical sun, 
counted his loose change as he read a newspaper while 
also stealing glimpses of the Widow Rivera. The Widow 
was in her brand new, bright orange, floral sun dress with 
shiny gold heels to "match." In her lap, a lap that had 
bounced many a child in the past, rested her matching 
gold pocketbook. 

Looking out the fingerprinted window, passing 
palm tree after flower after fern, a little old couple of 
eighty or so sold their batatas^ and platanos^ an6 pittas'' 
at three for a dollar in an old weather-beaten wood 
stand. A group of children stood outside their home 
waiting for their baby brother to be cleaned off after 
falling into a pile of rotten bananas, bananas whose stains 
would be come a lifelong memory. 

straw hat native to Puerto Rico 
Spanish sweet potatoes 
plantains 
pineapples 



Suddenly, Giga climbed on the bus in her 
pink cotton dress and $1 .99 sandals that read "Puerto 
Rico" on the straps. She sported a hairdo of messed up 
pigtails. In her chubby hands she clutched a bag of 
chicharrones^ , 

crunching and munching while successfully staring at each 
and every person on the 

bus and mumbling something under her breath. "Ay, no 
no! Tienes cookie? Tienes cookie?" (O my goodness! Do 
you have a cookie? Do you have a cookie?), she 
repeated over and over again. Giga was the crazy, 
middle-aged woman of the barrio'^. In her never-ending 
search for a cookie, she ate quite well, and it showed. 
She was eccentric and always stared at people with her 
bottom lip hanging low and uncontrolled. She plopped 
down two seats away from me asking everyone if they 
had a cookie while munching on her fatty chicharrones. 

it grew quite hot on the bus, and so windows 
were opened. The breeze rustled through hair and blew 
papers around. A woman in the back tried desperately 
to salvage her hairdo, one she had spent two hours doing 
so she'd look just right for her dentist appointment in 
town. 

Hearing the final stop, the old eighty year-old 
man who ran the piragua stand began scraping his huge 
block of ice to make a fifty-cent piragua for a black-haired 
little girl in a puffy, red, and sequin-covered dress 
wearing a white pair of buckled patent leather shoes, 
scuffed on the side after chasing her brother around the 
plaza\ 

pork rinds 
the neighborhood 
sno-cone 

in Latin American countries, it is the town square as well as the center of town 
where the Roman Catholic Church is located 



Suddenly, I heard loud roars of laughter from 
the back of the bus. There, the "information operators" 
of Lares were blabbing their latest bits of juicy gossip to 
one another. A fifty year old woman was the center of 
the conversation. She was braiding her long, grayish- 
brown hair while spurting out the juiciest bit of lies 
possible. "Jose dejo a su mujery sefue con la novia que- 
era de Cheo!" (Jose left his wife and ran away with 
Cheo's old girlfriend.) Screams and laughter roared, and 
what followed was more and more gossip. 

Finally, we came to the stop, and I got off 
that lively bus. A little saddened, I watched as Giga 
asked for a cookie, as the old man glimpsed at the 
Widow Rivera, as the group of teenage boys whistled 
and hollered at a young girl in a black mini-skirt walking 
by, as the eleven-year-old boy walked off feeling even 
older than before, and as the group of middle-aged 
women laughed in the memories of that funny little ride. 



Gianina Sagolla 55 

Bristol High School 

Mrs. Zenzel 

Grade 1 2 

First Place Prose 



"Emerald Green" 

I guess it all started when I turned 
fourteen; eighth grade really took its toll on me. It 
was early spring and the days had finally begun to 
grow longer, a pleasant change from the darkness 
that seems to encompass winter. The grass was 
breaking out from under its colorless cocoon and 
beginning to earn back its warm green luster. I too 
was breaking out from a shell, as I slowly learned 
about adolescence from the back of a general earth 
science class. Now, it's funny, I can't identify 
different types of clouds or the weather that each 
portends, and I can't distinguish between an oak 
and a maple tree, but I can remember every detail 
of the Fugazi T-shirt that Debbie Green used to 
wear. Green? That's so nondescript, more like 
Emerald. She was too cool to be anything but the 
girl who broke up with me after our first "date" to 
c -. the sounds of Soul Asylum and the Gin Blossoms, 

that I still listen to on occasion, when I want to 
think about eighth grade and dances and things. 

Dances always seemed to end in disaster 
and this one was no different. As many junior high 
school students as you could imagine all crowded 
outside of the cafeteria doors, tickets in hand, trying 
to hide their nervousness with laughter that just 
ended up sounding like nervous laughter. We all 
had our best clothes on, flannels unbuttoned over T- 
shirts or tied around the waists of semi-new jeans, 
trying to look messy and way too cool, and we 
did. I got there early, despite efforts to avoid just 
such a circumstance, it did have its benefits. I was 
one of the first to get my hand stamped and see the 
decorations on the cafeteria walls, and I got to see 
everyone else come in. I knew who was there and 
whom they came with, for everyone else's 
information if they asked. Deb was just cool enough 
to be the last one there, and her entrance was 



unforsettable, mostly, I suess, because I didn't see 
it. Four or five of us stood in a circle the way 
eighth-graders do, with their hands in their pockets, 
weight on one leg more than the other, chins relaxed 
on chests with eyes fixed on the floor. I guess that's 
why no one saw her come in, but she was there and 
in a moment I felt the most beautiful fourteen-year- 
old forearm in the world draped around my neck, 
and its companions hand running playfully through 
my hair. I'm still a sucker for that sort of thing. I 
guess that's why. Out of all the guys in the 
streamer-filled cafeteria she'd chosen to wrap herself 
around my shoulders. 

We were "going out," the way that 
eighth-graders go out when they don't really go 
anywhere because they're too embarrassed to let 
their parents drive. Everyone knew Deb Green, and 
now everyone knew that I was going out with her 
and that was just fine with me. We had been 

together for five days already and there was no 57 

reason to think that we wouldn't be together for the 
rest of our natural lives, but dances are funny that 
way,- things always seem to change between seven- 
thirty and ten-thirty. I think it's somewhere around 
nine that a girl always starts to like someone else. 
Dances are funny in another way too,- they're kind 
of an ecstasy of inhibitions. The opportunities for a 
fourteen-year-old boy on a tiled dance floor are 
almost endless. There's nothing like wrapping your 
arms around a girl's waist when she's just beginning 
to develop hips, and you can hold her close in the 
privacy of a largely fourteen-year-old mob that's just 
getting over its embarrassment about the opposite 
sex. 

That night ended all to soon. It was dark 
and a little cool when the crowd moved out to the 
front of the school to wait for their parents, and 
discuss out of the earshot of the chaperones who 
had kissed whom with their tongues during the final 



slow dance. Deb and I stood for those last few 
minutes holding hands apprehensively until my mom 
and dad pulled up in a run down old Buick. There's 
nothing harder for a fourteen-year-old boy who's 
standing with his girlfriend than to climb into the 
back seat of his parent's station wagon after a 
dance, except maybe climbing out of the back seat 
before a dance. I think my mom asked if I had a 
good time, but I'm sure that I was too cool to 
answer until the second or third time she asked. 
That night I stayed up late, going over the dance in 
my head, thinking of all the moments that would 
have been perfect for a kiss between two fourteen- 
year-olds in love. 

The next day I got a phone call, its 
purpose to inform me that Deb and I wouldn't be 
going out any longer. I don't think I asked any 
questions, just said O.K. and hung up the 
telephone. The following Monday had very little to 
58 do with school at all; it was more like a series of 

questions and explanations, and "too bad, man's." 
Science class didn't really change much,- I still sat in 
the back of the room, memorizing Deb's T-shirts, 
less for the sake of reminiscence, and more for a 
sense of consistency with the first six months of my 
eighth grade year. Yeah, eighth grade really took its 
toll on me, and in a way it still does. 

Clifford Agocs 

Neshaminy High School 

Mr. Howie 

Grade 1 2 

Second Place Prose 



Nanny and the 
Lure of the Ocean 

I have journeyed to London, Paris, and 
Montreal, yet nothing can compare to what I 
learned one boiling summer afternoon on a beach in 
New Jersey with my family. 

"Do we have everything?" Mom 
worriedly drilled Dad. 

"I hope. We couldn't fit anything else in 
here, anyway. Let's get going to your mother's,' 
Dad replied, taking the driver's seat in our 1 987 
Oldsmobile station wagon. 

Any onlooker would have thought we 
looked like the typical family going on the typical 
family vacation. It was much more than that, though. 

We slid out of our driveway, geared up 
for our annual adventure to the Jersey shore. 
Squished between my two older brothers, I acted 
as mediator, attempting to eliminate slugs and name- 
calling episodes by screaming Jike a new-born, 
forcing my parents to turn around. I distinctly 
remember their glares and threats of, "If you don't 
stop that right now, I'm going to..." "Going to 
WHAT?" I always thought silently but never dared 
to say aloud. That comment quelled us for five 
minutes, and then the face-making resumed. 

After twenty minutes of driving, we 
honked the horn and startled my grandmother, 
hauling a cooler of snacks and sodas to the back 
seat of the long, white Chrysler Fifth Avenue 
parked before us. At age nine, I thought it was my 
dream car, making me feel like a glamorous movie 



59 



star. My grandfather was reorganizing the suitcases 
in the trunk, determined to have a perfect fit. After 
the car was about to burst at the seams, my 
grandmother held the front door wide open, and 
my grandfather steadily held the pale, liver-spotted 
arm of my great-grandmother, better known as 
"Nanny." She wore a blue flowered dress, thick 
stockings, rose-colored glasses, and those dark, thin, 
plastic shades eye doctors give you after you've had 
drops in your eyes. Slightly out of breath, she 
reached the car. After the front door was checked 
three times to make sure it was locked, our caravan 
headed for the highway. 

I heard my parents take deep breaths. 
The two hour drive ahead would be the longest 
part of our two-week vacation. Every year since I 
was born, and even before then, my family had 
vacationed in Ocean City, i pulled out my crinkled 
loose-leaf paper, on which I had scribbled 
60 everything I wanted to accomplish during the next 

fourteen days: amusement rides (particularly the 
Ferris wheel), the beach, the ocean, shell-hunting, 
feeding seagulls... the list went on and on, and I was 
determined to complete it. 

Around noon, we spotted the first 
seagull and finally crossed the bridge linking Ocean 
City to mainland New Jersey After eating lunch at 
McDonald's and picking up the key from the 
realtor, we made ourselves at home in the beautiful, 
beach-front home. We'd been going to the same 
house since I was two, but I was always amazed 
that at night the ocean could always be heard 
lapping at the shore at low-tide and crashing onto 
the land at high-tide. 

I woke up the next morning, without the 
slightest inclination that this day would be engraved 
into my memory forever. I heard my parents and 
grandparents whispering but dismissed it and 



focused on hunting down my pail and shovel. 
Today I would construct the best sandcastle ever to 
exist in the history of mankind. My dad and 
grandfather dragged five beach chairs from the shed 
and joined my brothers, my mom, my grandmother, 
and me, guiding Nanny onto the beach. 

We discussed the best location to set up 
camp, practically making it a science. I voted to sit 
near the water, buy my parents argued that it would 
be extremely crowded, hlowever, going too far from 
the ocean's edge in the bone-dry sand would be 
scorching. We compromised, and settled twenty 
feet from the waves. My dad readily planted a chair 
securely in the sand, and my mom and grandmother 
assisted Nanny into it, while my grandfather held 
the back, preventing it from tipping. 

Anyone would have known what Nanny 
desired. Eighty-nine years old and fairly ill, she 

stared at the endless waves ahead of her, just out of 61 

reach. She wanted to touch the water, sit in it, and 
let it gently cool her swollen legs. I noticed my 
parents and grandparents exchanging looks. It would 
be a trial to move her to the water's edge, but we 
knew it was a mission we had to complete. 

"Come on. Mother. Let's go to the 
water," my grandmother began. "Boys! Rich! Rob!" 
They returned quickly, dripping wet, lugging a 
bucket of water between them, too heavy for just 
one to lift, "h^elp Nanny get to the water." They 
immediately manned their positions like soldiers, 
each taking a side. I sprang up and gazed at the 
path ahead. No shells, no obstacles, a smoother 
path lay before us. 

Immediately after my brothers hoisted 
Nanny to her feet, I folded the chair and darted 
into the ocean. There, I positioned the chair to face 



straight out into the ocean. It was perfectly stable. I 
glanced behind me and saw Nanny, gingerly 
choosing her steps. Her knee-length, tan cover-up 
danced behind her in the slight breeze. My 
brothers, the crutches, led her towards me, and my 
parents and grandparents acted as back-ups, ready 
to spring into action if needed, hier soles pounded 
against the smooth sand. Only five more feet to go. 

She took her first step of the summer 
into the ocean, relieving her burning, aching feet. 
The sea enveloped her ankles as she sat. We formed 
a semi-circle behind her, staring into the Atlantic. 
Nanny's parched lips slowly broke into a radiant 
smile, gentle but strong. 



62 



Nanny passed away six months later, on 
a frigid January morning, a few days after New 
Year's. My grandparents, parents, brother, and I 
returned to the beach house the following summer 
and sat by the ocean's edge, but it just wasn't the 
same and never again would be. 



Allison Liebscher 

Upper Dublin High School 

Dr. Sharon Traver 

Grade 1 2 
Third Place Prose 



ami) 

9i« 



9|S 



Filthy, Non-Gefilte Fish 

Fishy, Fishy, in the ocean. 

Awash in medicinal potions! 

Vacationing Vet caught him in a net. 

Bet the kids can't snare him for a pet! 

Dr. Richard Ziemer 




Linda K. Kuehl 



There was deceit and 
deception. 

There was neglect and 
disregard. 

There was pain and 
loneliness. 

There was sadness 
and fear. 

There was selfishness and 
64 greed. 

Then .... 

There was you. 

Now truth reigns, 

respect abounds, 
unselfishness lives, 
joy prospers, 

ALL IS RIGHT IN 

THE WORLD. 

Joann B. Donigan 



Fairy Prince 



A fairy prince so I see, 
Comes to me from his tree, 
I watch him come my eyes wide, 
He takes a seat by my side. 
His hand raises to my face. 
All at once I feel his grace, 
A golden light fills my soul, 
A fairy's gift so I have been told, 
Forever shall I be his he speaks 
And he for me for all keeps. 
We rise together hand in hand. 
And enter together into his land. 

Rachel Stick 




TheZ 



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"Must be 18" said the sign at the gate, not 
that anyone was there to check. Very few visitors even 
made it to the gate. The drive was long and dark. The 
sycamore trees that lined it were old and decrepit with 
dead branches waving overhead in the gusty wind like 
the arms of an old man flailing in the air desperately as 
he falls to his death. Towering over the sycamores were 
tremendous dark pines that blocked out the sun. Most 
cars that began the drive to The Zoo backed out when 
they saw the potholes riddling the gravel road. 

Most who did enter soon regretted it. The 
first few cages inside the gate were empty. The black 
wrought-iron bars were twisted and rusty. Doors with 
broken locks or hinges creaked as the wind blew by. 
Visitors' skin crawled with the feelings of monstrous 
ghosts lurking in the cages waiting for the strength to 
strike again. Only the sounds from further down the 
path proved that The Zoo was not abandoned. 

The monsters were rattling their cages. The 
bars clanged and sometimes the ground even shook. 
The path between the cages was twisty and frequently 
divided ~ what lay ahead could not be seen and what 
lay at the end of the path was a mystery. Still, some 
walked on. 

It was a dirty cage housing two creatures of 
an unknown species. Somehow they seemed familiar. 
The larger creature was clearly male and the smaller 
could only be female. At first quiet, the scene quickly 
turned violent. She was so much smaller than he. hie 
tricked her,- he hurt her. Onward, quickly, escape from 
that sight. 

hier cries could still be heard as the path 
curved past more empty cages. Some stood empty. 



clean, untouched. Instead of seeming pristine, they stood in 
need of something ~ some dark and twisted horror to hide 
within. 

Another bend and the darkness was 
overwhelming. Within the cages, cast in shadowy darkness, 
unspeakable acts were committed by various monsters uponr 
all sorts of creatures. Sounds and sights numb the senses of 
the visitors. Again, hurry onward, past the beasts reaching 
their long arms through the bars to grab at the female 
visitors. They knew what they sought. 

The ground shakes. An arena houses two giant 
beings ~ one dark and twisted, the other lighter, less 
mangled-looking. They fight a violent, brutal fight. Clearly a 
struggle to the death. The dark one wins most, the light 
losing strength but fighting on. Onward, before one is 
thrown from the ring. 

Next are found a long series of walled, 
padlocked, and barred sections. There was no way to see 
within. On some the reinforcements were breaking and 
whatever was held within was trying to break loose. On 
others the bonds were still secure. The darkness hung in the 
air. hlorrors could be felt with every breath. The path 
narrowed. The fortress-like reinforcements and containments 
to the cages near the ends crushed the path into a narrow 
walkway with jagged edges. 

The path ended at a small cage. The only sound 
coming from it was a soft crying sound. Outside it lay the 
dirty, tainted darkness. Within it darkness remained but 
somehow different ~ cleaner, pure. The door has no lock 
from the outside. It is secured instead from within by all 
sorts of makeshift means. Inside, in the farthest corner, was 
a small girl. She hid from any visitors and refused to leave 
the cage. Forever she will be a resident of The Zoo. 

Rebecca Walter 



Tree Sketches 



Sweet Nothings 
The way those trees blush 

Crimson red ~ 

I wonder what 

The wind has whispered. 



Autumn Splendor 
Ruby, amber, and orange flames 

Ablaze 

Against the smooth, cool sky 

Of peacock blue. 



Acorn Tops 
The nut of the oak tree ^^ 

Wears a petite brown beret. 



Winter Floral 

Glistening glazed needles 

Of the cool green pine-boughs: 

Ice-flowers shimmer. 



Victory 
The tree reaches upward 

To caress the sky. 

It breathes celestial vapor, 

It rejoices in the lambent sun. 

The tree has triumphed 

Over gravity. 

Karen Schramm 



A lady was out one day 
Shopping for her garden 
She was wondering what to get 
Found a clerk, and begged his pardon. 

She was holding a tiny plant 

In a tiny little pot 

And the clerk said to her, 

"That's a rhododendron you've got." 

The lady said "Oh really, 
Now that's very nice. 
Can you tell me how it grows. 
And tell me what's the price?" 

He said to the lady 
"It grows three or four feet. 
And gets purple flowers. 
The plant is really neat." 

70 

She put the plant in her trunk 

And went on her merry way 

She was thinking about where to put it 

Up into her driveway. 

She was pulling into her garage 
When she saw the perfect spot 
A little bare spot under the window 
Now that was the perfect plot. 

She put that tiny plant 
Under the window pane 
To think it would stay that small 
Was really quite insane. 

The time is ten years later 

The lady is out again 

Out to buy a plant 

She went to where she'd been. 



She found the same clerk 
Not so wet behind the ears 
She went running to him 
Just about in tears. 



"Dear Sir", she said to him 

"Last time I was here 

You said my plant would get four feet tall 

That was just in the first year" 

"In this ten year period 

The rhodo has done just fine 

Too fine I may add 

Fifteen feet in that amount of time. 



"The little plant under my window 
has become a towering giant 
Its habit is unruly 
And its height is just defiant." 

"The window is covered 
With leaves and purple flowers 
To prune to manageable size 
Would take me many hours." 



71 



"What you sold me 
Was a tiny plant in a tiny pot 
Well what I've got now 
Why Sir, it's a giant I've got!" 

"You should see the room 

To which that rhododendron goes 

It's so dark and dreary 

Into it no one goes. 

"It's bad enough the plant's so big 
it towers over others 
But now it's taking over the yard 
And is taking over others." 



"Why oh why sir 
Didn't you know 
Just how far 
this plant would grow?" 



"It seems that now 
This plant must come down 
For it has taken over the yard 
And is headed for the next town." 

"Although I hate to see 
That monster get the ax 
I need light through the window 
And that is just a fact." 



72 



"So after I cut the giant 

Is there something you can suggest 

To plant under the window 

That won't tower about the rest?" 

"Ma'am," the clerk said, 
"I know it's been ten years 
And I know my bad information 
hias caused you all these tears." 

"If there's one thing I've learned 

After all this time here 

It's just this one tip. 

No rhodys under the window my dear." 

"I think in your case 
Perennials are best 
You can keep what you want 
And just pull out the rest." 

"They come in many colors 
And they stay pretty small 
They really are no trouble 
Kathleen V. Salisbury Really Ma'am, no trouble at al 



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73 




m. 



Stephanie R. Scarborough 



A Tale of Summer 

So here I am, I thought, on this gray, dreary morning, one year away from being a 
college graduate and living on sixty dollars a week paid monthly with no clue as to who I really 
am or where I am going. I pulled on my raincoat and stumbled out of the renovated pig barn I 
was living in, glancing at the lake in my front yard, normally a wondrous sight but today 
occupying my thoughts only to the extent of, "God, I hope it doesn't flood my house." Teaching 
children. What business did I have teaching children when I couldn't even hold my own life 
together, let alone pass on years of learned wisdom to a bunch of six- and seven-year olds? 

Dealing with the dregs of a failed engagement, my fiance leaving with the words 
"You're a failure, a disappointment, and not one-third the person you could be and it's over. I'm 
going to go celebrate now." I took this job and a new lover to keep my sanity, and piece 
together a year and a half of broken promises, to me and by me. My lover had also left me, 
conveniently on this week, and for a high school student no less. And the drive, the burning 
drive in my soul to be someone, to do something important, to be better, and always falling 
short, failing miserably. Show down at every bend. So I welcomed my old unwelcome friend of 
depression to my abode like I would an obnoxious in-law, setting my backbone and sucking in my 
gut to face the job at hand. 

Speaking of jobs, I have to work this entire weekend for Snobs-R-Us, my cashier job 
74 at a retail garden center. The job that I hated would put me through another semester of college 

while the one I liked would only add to the confusion of my life. I stumbled my way towards the 
visitor center, sloshing through mud puddles and inhaling the green scent of drizzly rain. So I work 
this weekend, raising my blood pressure to record levels, while my lover gets to go and play with 
the new found admiree. Someone who, unlike me, I guess, can afford a driver's license and a 
little bit of freedom and has a future ahead of her. 

Splash. So much for keeping these jeans clean today. The other intern is late. 
Probably out scraping up another roadkill for her animal skinning project. Just last week we found 
a nice dead raccoon and brought it back with us. It's in the cooler now, but we actually had to 
fight over it with some weirdo who pulled up in a jeep to see if we needed him to take it for us. 
"No, we're fine," we told him, "we're doing an experiment." I could see him wondering just 
what the hell kind of experiment two youngsters would wish to do with a flattened raccoon. At 
least he had a good story to bring home to his wife. 

Oh great. The office person is in a bad mood. Well there's a surprise. What did I do 
this time, stick a mailing label on crooked or something? Most likely. The assistant naturalist, in 
his little Boy Scout uniform, is of course in a flurried panic. You'd think that after years of doing 
this he'd realize that everything will be set up on time before the kids arrive, and all will be well. 

I'm teaching the Lenni-Lenape Indian program today. Two teachers are arguing with 
the head naturalist because they don't understand their programs. Oh, make something up, I feel 
like telling them; the kids will appreciate it more than if you give a list of memorized facts. Thank 
God, the other intern just arrived. She's been fighting with her husband again,- I can see the 



strained look in her eyes. 

We go out on setup, taking a little bit longer because tempers are flying everywhere 
here today. We get back just in time for the kids to start arriving, driven in by parents furious 
because it's raining and don't we have indoor programs for their precious children on days like 
this because, of course, they'll melt in the rain? One little boy was dropped off in a t-shirt and 
shorts, and is shivering. I run back to my cottage and grab an old sweatshirt for him to wear. 

I hope I get the timing right on today's program because last time I ended up in the 
story circle at the same time as another group and had to keep my kids practicing their Indian 
walkior ten minutes on a simulated deer hunt while waiting for the other group to finish. Luckily, 
this is my good group. These kids once watched a great blue heron in complete silence while it 
swallowed a catfish twice the size of its head. The ordeal took ten minutes, an amazing feat when 
you consider the attention span of seven-year olds. 

Smile. No matter how I'm feeling, or what's on my mind, these kids are counting on 
me to make their day, or at least two hours of it, interesting. I take them out into the woods to 
start the Indian program. There isn't as much rain under the trees, and the rising mist is taking form 
like an ethereal being. We stop and listen to the trees talk for a while, telling their sad stories 
with the occasionally dripping from the branches that are the healing tears giving life to a new 
seedling. 

We talk of the Indians who lived here, and of their respect for the land, and of what 
the land looked like back then. We talk of their way of life and how it differed from ours. We 
talk about the importance of being thankful to the earth for everything we take from it. We play /5 

Indian games of skill and chance, skill to become better people and chance to solve debates. 

We learn to make trails, and to track animals. We listen to the noises of the forest, 
lost to so many in today's world of freeways and housing developments and shopping centers. 
We catch an unhappy bullfrog by the pond, knowing full well, of course, that all of his buddies 
are laughing their little tail-less frog butts off at him. "Look," they say, bellowing uproariously, 
"that's the third time Charlie's been caught this month!" 

This is the last time I will ever see this group of kids, and I want to leave them with 
something. On the walk back, I decide to do an improv lesson in ecology, based on today's 
wanderings and wonderings. We talk again of the difference between the land now and the land 
when white settlers first arrived in this country. They point out the construction, telephone poles, 
roads, development, and noise. 

"Which do you personally like better?" I ask them. 

They think for a moment of their Nintendos and sneakers, homes and parents' cars. 
They look around at the sunlight finally clearing through the trees, dappling the ground with 
sparkling jewels of dew, too beautiful and fragile to last more than a few minutes. 

"This is better," they say. 

"Well, is there anything you, as one person, can do? After all, the Indians lived here 
10,000 years without destroying everything, whereas we've been here 400. Do you think we 
can make a difference for the better?" 



"No," a little boy says, "It's probably already too late. Besides, the building people 
are making money." 

I try to think of a response as I look into his eyes, and realize how true his words are 
without his even realizing. I think of how much more I know of how much is going on in the 
world than he does, and how often I've felt the same way, just giving up and giving in, especially 
within the last year. Wandering aimlessly while trying to put a meaning to it all so I had a reason 
to go on while even my best friends deserted me. Where am I supposed to come up with an 
answer for him? 

Then I thought of a story to tell, the story of the woman who founded the nature 
center, a woman with seventy years of life and mischief sparkling in her eyes. 

"Where we're standing was supposed to be a sports stadium. That wetlands we saw 
last week was going to be a golf course. Over there would have been a parking lot," I tell them. 
"Do you know what happened?" 

"No, what?" a girl asks. 

"One woman, the one who founded this place, decided that these trees, and these 
plants, and the animals that live here were worth saving. She fought to have this place made into 
a park instead, and then planted many trees, laid out the trails, and had the place protected so 
everyone could enjoy it." 

There is silence as they ponder this. 

A little girl speaks up. I cannot recall her name, but her face is etched in my memory. 
She has the face of an angel, the kind that lights up rooms with the soft, radiant glow of 
childhood innocence, the kind often talked about. 

She runs over to me, clutches my hand, and looks up at me earnestly. "What's the 
woman's name?" she asks, and I tell her. hlugging me, she requests, "Will you tell her I said 
thank you, from me and from God?" 

On the walk back, I think about her words, because she hit an essential truth right on 
the mark. I mean, how often does one get a thank you from a co-worker, let alone from God? 

I'm here teaching, I think, because I have a lot to learn. Because hurts can be healed. 
Because problems work themselves out if given love. Because a child who experiences the 
wonder of life has a hard time later destroying it. And because, above all, if we learn to 
remember how to listen, a seven-year old is still young enough to carry a message from God. 

For Caroline J. - who remembers how to listen. 
May the rest of your years be years of Grace. 

Rachael Shenyo 



D 



awn 



All is quiet when I wake, 

I walk slowly out the gate, 

Nothing stirs in the trees, 

Nothing but a faint breeze. 

The scent of salt fills the air, 

Waves hit the shore without a care, 

I walk on bare feet on the sand, 

I touch the water with my hand, 

I go sit on top of a rock. 

And wait for every thing to start to talk. 

Then the earth is blessed with light. 

All the birds take to flight, 

Flocks of them take to the air. 

Flying as though they have not a care. 

Singing because it is a new day. 

Having nothing more to do than play. 

Then I think of the time when all is calm. 

Nothing stirs before the dawn. 

Rachel Stick 



I have turned over so many new leaves 

That my tree is upside down. 

My moon is so new 

It is no where to be found. 

I deserted my plans. 
My plans deserted me. 
I am left unsure 
Of what I should be. 

What I valued so highly, 
So long, so much 
Shattered in but a moment. 
Evades my touch. 

The one who was my solace. 
My northern star. 
Fell from my sky. 

The roots that were my anchor 
That held me firm. 
Began to die. 

I must wish on new stars. 
I must set new seeds. 
I will wait for the waxing. 
I will fight the weeds. 

I will become my own constellation. 
I will shine on my own. 
I will nourish my seeding self 
Till a new tree is grown. 

Carrie Preston 




What We All See 

I had just finished mowing the south side 
of the property and was on my way home. I was 
traveling on a path that I have traveled at least a 
thousand times before. I would occasionally glance 
from side to side as I slowly made my way back to 
the farm. Something felt quite different this time,- it 
felt as if I were being watched. I turned about 
halfway around in my seat and saw seven or eight 
deer staring at me. This was not an unusual 
circumstance, but something else was wrong. I 
stopped the tractor in the middle of the path and 
climbed down to the ground. I walked around to 
the back of the tractor and faced the deer. I made a 
few small steps in their direction and they did not 
even blink. It seemed that their eyes were fixed near 
the front of the tractor. I walked around to the front 
of the tractor and saw what they were so patiently 
watching. They were watching a small fawn less than 
a foot from my front tire. 

This was an unusual situation because it 
was the wrong time for a doe to fawn. The tiny 
fawn did not look more than an hour old. It still 
seemed damp, cold, and unaware of its 
surroundings. I quietly turned around and saw the 
deer still staring at me, just a few feet closer now. I 
climbed back up on to my tractor and backed down 
the trail. As I backed by the pack of deer, I could 
see a look of relief on all of their faces. 

What made me stop the tractor at that 
particular spot? Was it the feeling of being watched 
or was it something greater? On my way back to 
the farm I thought a great deal about what 
happened and what made me stop. I realized that I 
had become blind to my surroundings, and unaware 
of what was going on around me. 



79 



I set a goal for myself that I would 
become more aware of the daily happenings on the 
farm. I now see the rabbits that play in the woods 
and the underbrush. I see the gophers that race 
across the fields and then make a dramatic dive into 
their holes. I see the carp as they swim in the pond 
and then dart into the darkness. I see this and all of 
the other movement that happens. I now know that 
I am not the only one watching them. They are also 
watching me. We all live and survive off our little 
farm, and now we are all just a bit closer. 

Aaron Soldavin 



The Gleaner is published during the academic year by Delaware Valley College students. 
The Gleaner is a student publication and the opinions expressed within are not necessarily those of 
the Gleaner staff or the administration. 

Neither the College nor the staff will assume responsibility for plagiarism unknowingly 
occurring within. 




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